Well, I finally tried this one again. It appears to be official. As long as I make it with my tap water at home, I like it well enough to drink it. I still wouldn’t reach for it over some others, but it won’t go to waste. The smoke is very subdued when I use my home water. The notes I liked about the sample I previously had were all there, though also a bit more subdued. While better, I’m still reducing the rating since it wasn’t what I had that I previously rated so highly and I will not be likely to restock this one.
Goes to show how different harvests can have different flavor profiles I guess. The sample I had was steeped at work with the filtered water and CoWorker & I loved it. So I eventually got a full package of it. We steeped up a pot again at work of the new stuff and we both thought it was way too ashy and harsh. It was a bummer at the time.
I’m glad to know that my unpure water at home can salvage this for my tastebuds. :) I’ve had this happen with a few other teas, too. Love them at home, despise them at work. Could also be that I don’t get actual boiling water at work ever. Whatever the factors, this goes into the home only pile o’ tea. :)
This is also one of the teas that I still don’t get anything out of with the tiny steep time increments. I do it all in one go so that probably impacts what I get out of this. YMMV as always. :)